By: Quinten Pezoldt
*Europe* Mad Lions (-375) vs Team Vitality 2 PM EST
*Europe* G2 Esports (-155) vs Fnatic 3 PM EST
*North America* Flyquest (-195) vs 100 Thieves 4 PM EST
Mad Lions vs Team Vitality
After almost the entire Summer Split, Rogue and Mad Lions are still tied for 1st place in the LEC. Both are still waiting for the other to make a mistake. The two teams have the two best supports in the world and two of the best mid laners. In the bot lane, Mad Lions has a scary combination of Carzzy and Kaiser and pretty good jungler presence from Shadow (even though they typically win their lane) making it a nightmare to try and pick off in the middle to late game. The meta of pro play really favors the bottom and middle lane carries and Mad Lions is a poster-child for focusing the roaming threat of a mid-bottom lane team composition. Not only does the meta favor teams like Mad Lions, their team gets better with every game, learning from the few mistakes they make. This team did well to debut in the league and since hasn’t looked back.
Vitality has been struggling against the middle of the row teams in the league and doesn’t have a chance to make it to the world championships on behalf of Europe at this point. They are playing to not be relegated or lose players at the end of the season because their postseason hopes are fleeting. Vitality plays sloppy and desperate and teams that play well against small mistakes, like Rogue and Mad Lions, pull them apart easily. I can’t see Vitality catching that spark needed to ruin teams’ seasons for this weekend at least and that leaves me siding with the T-1 team in the LEC, Mad Lions -6.5 (-115) for a unit.
G2 Esports vs Fnatic
A battle of the European and Global legends. Fnatic is coming off a winning split, and arguably the most stacked team in the league, struggling. Granted, they do have a chance to pull the season out like they always do, make a deep playoff run, and represent the EU on the global stage. They have some of the most classic players in LoL eSports history mixed well with the new generation of phenomenal talent. They’ve been struggling because their support/bottom lane haven’t been performing to their fullest and their top laner, Bwipo, tries to carry the game too early. They look like they play an “off-the-top” game lacking a fluid macro-strategy. That means they can beat the lower tier teams that have less mechanical skill and experience whereas the top teams that are more focused on an overarching gameplan can capitalize on players overstepping.
G2, the other European giant, has also been struggling in a split where we all thought we’d see Fnatic and G2 topping the leaderboard again. They’ve been struggling in the same areas too. G2’s bot lane has been off a step for the last 2 months and due to position changes and personal problems. Throughout the struggles they meet to break the tie for 3rd place with SK Gaming at a .500 record. Fnatic has been losing to some of the lower tier competition and haven’t beaten a team with an even record in over a month while G2 was able to edge a win over Rogue last week. Fnatic’s lack of a structure when one small thing goes wrong makes me think that G2 will be able to edge another victory and put their stake on one of the last spots in the world stage. I’m putting a unit on G2 Esports moneyline (-165).
Flyquest vs 100 Thieves
There’s not a ton to be said about either team or much of the North American LoL this season. The top 3 teams in the LCS (Cloud 9, Liquid, & TSM) seem like they play in a different league than the rest of the teams. That’s actually true for some of the teams in the LCS this year too though. Throughout the season a lot of the underperforming teams brought up players from their academy teams to fill a gap or make up for ideas that other teams are coming up with. So far, its led to players with more spread out champion pools but not as good mechanics. 100 Thieves is no different and if they don’t act soon, they could fall the last 2 spots to last place.
Flyquest has been quietly turning the heads of the LoL higher-ups with their critical win over Liquid last week and finishing strong against Golden Guardians. They are one of 2 teams that went 2-0 on the weekend last week and are looking to carry on their momentum through a team that shouldn’t put up much of a fight. Flyquest doesn’t look like they could be a good world candidate but they could keep the end of the season going in their favor. I’m putting a unit on Flyquest -5.5 (-115).